Accelerating Vehicle Electrification
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Accelerating Vehicle Electrification September 9, 2009 CEC Staff Workshop SCAQMD, Diamond Bar, CA Ron Gremban, Technical Lead The California Cars Initiative [email protected] For updated PDF of presentations: 2008: First preview of a new industry

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Accelerating Vehicle Electrification

September 9, 2009CEC Staff WorkshopSCAQMD, Diamond Bar, CARon Gremban, Technical LeadThe California Cars [email protected]

For updated PDF of

2008: First preview of a new industry

Ali Emadi, Felix Kramer,

Andy Grove, & Andy Frank

at Plug-In 2008 in San Jose

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A quick reminder: Electricity is better than gas!

  • I am about to publish a White Paper that uses EPA, CAFÉ, and Argonne National Labs data to establish that electric/gasoline-ICE Energy Economy Ratios (EERs) are actually much higher than the 3.0 that the CEC uses for all calculations of the value of electric propulsion:

    • 5.2 est. (73% better) for used light trucks likely to be candidates for plug-in conversion

    • 4.7 (57% better for EVs than 3.0) for passenger cars meeting 2009 CAFÉ standards

    • 3.6 (20% better) for passenger cars meeting 2020 U.S. / 2016 California CAFÉ standards

    • 2.8 for the 2004-9 Prius which, at 64 mpg EPA, already meets 150% of 2020/2016 CAFE

1. ECONOMICS: CHEAPER -- electric miles at a quarter the cost

2. CLIMATE: CLEANER --50% less CO2, even on the half-coal national power grid


Only 1.5% of U.S. electricity comes from oil

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Nonprofit Startup: CalCars’ successes & challenges

  • In 2004, no one believed PHEVs were viable, and auto manufacturers claimed that no one would ever want to plug in a car.

  • CalCars:

    • Demonstrated low-tech conversions of a mass produced hybrid into a PHEV,

    • Aggressively pursued public awareness, education, and partnerships with environmental, national security, technology, and other advocacy groups

    • Worked to build grassroots consumer pressure on industry and government

    • Created an open-source technology exchange





Progress: 2004 2006 2009

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Unprecedented broad support & alliances









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President Obama/Congress on PHEV Policies

  • Stimulus Package and Since

  • $2,500-$7,500 tax credit: 200,000 new plug-ins from each manufacturer

  • 10% tax credits up to $4,000 for plug-in conversions

  • $2 billion advanced battery research

  • Plug-in cars as way to meethigher CAFE MPG standards

  • $400 million for infrastructure deployment, regional deployment

  • $300 million federal purchases

  • 30% tax credits advanced manufacturing investments

  • Goal: 1 million PHEVs by 2015

  • Key element of Waxman-Markey global warming solutions bill

Notice that this is not seen as a way to EXCEED higher CAFÉ standards

Nov ’07 Googleplex; March ’09 SoCalEd.

’06: “When it becomes possible in the coming years, we should make sure that every government car is a plug-in hybrid.”


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18+ carmakers interested; race to be first; few timetables (see CalCars Carmakers page summary)

Chevy Volt: 2009 demo, 2010 production; Opel Ampera; blended PHEV SUV 2011

on sale

2009: small demo fleet


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But for near- & mid-term impacts, retrofits are needed!

Source: CalCars white paper (see last slide)

New plug-ins, even at a 10x faster rate than hybrids (21% vs. 2.2% in 10 years) won’t be a significant percentage of fleet until 2025-2030

  • This new plug-in penetration rate extrapolates from Obama’s goal of 1M by 2015, and is up to a decade faster than CEC’s maximum Scenario 3

  • This conversion rate has been restricted to require earlier but no additional battery manufacturing capacity

  • Both may be optimistic. In any case,retrofits can accelerate impacts by at least a decade!

Note: biofuel penetration rate is a broad estimate

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But can ICE vehicles be converted en masse?

Once again, CalCars has begun a campaign for something valuable but not yet seen as viable. This time, for proof-of-concept demonstrations, we have discovered several start-up companies that have applied known technologies in innovative ways.

  • Converting gas guzzlers -- the nearly 50% of light vehicles classified as trucks -- is easiest, saves the most gasoline, and is the most economically viable.

  • Conversions to PHEVs have the highest market appeal, but conversions to BEVs are easier and can still satisfy many specific fleet requirements.

  • Several companies are demonstrating ICE-to-PHEV conversions that add to, instead of replacing, the existing drivetrain, thus radically reducing costs.

  • Batteries are the concern and the enabler

    • Volume Li-ion pack costs are already safe, long-lived (though needing road testing), and approaching $600/useful-kWh in high volume, or $300 per mile of light truck electric range, so a 20-EV-mile PHEV-20 light truck’s battery would cost just $6000.

    • Non-Li-ion chemistries are viable, too: NiMH is mature, and advanced lead-acid may soon better NiMH at much lower cost; either can power PHEV-20 trucks.

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But can ICE vehicles be converted en masse (con’t)?

  • As with new vehicles, automotive-volume production can lower costs dramatically

    • The CEC Investment Plan can help achieve that

    • HEV-to-PHEV-20 conversioncosts, already $10-14k for the Prius with just 100’s built, should reach $6k -- $8k for larger sedans and $10k for light trucks -- in “minimal automotive” quantities of tens of thousands

  • There is a cost of creating custom conversions for each vehicle model and production series (several model years), but this is already figured in and will first be done for high-volume vehicles with millions of each on the road.

  • Added costs for ICE-to-PHEV conversions that retain the OEM drivetrain are limited to

    • The cost of the motor/generator, its control and power electronics, its mechanical connections and mounting, and their installation

    • One-time R&D expertise, time, and expense required to perfect the admittedly-difficult ICE/electric control system

    • We project installed prices of $10k for sedans and $16k for light trucks in “minimal automotive” quantities

  • ICE-to-BEV conversions do not need the tricky ICE/electric control system of PHEV conversions, but do need bigger, more expensive batteries as well as electrification of power steering, brakes, and cabin heating/cooling.

    • We project BEV conversions to sell in “minimal automotive” volumes for

      • $17k for sedans with 50 mile EV range; $27k for 100 miles

      • $25k for light trucks with 50 mile EV range; $40k for 100 miles

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But can ICE vehicles be converted en masse (con’t)?

  • Auto manufacturers, their supply chains, and their dealers could develop new revenue streams, increase customer loyalty, create green jobs, and help the environment, our economy, and national security -- all by:

    • Providing their customers with upgrade paths for the products they own, like most other high-tech industries.

      • Computers, smart-phones, etc, are all upgradeable with additional and/or improved parts (e.g. more RAM, higher-capacity disk drives, next-generation optical drives, additional software applications).

      • Software manufacturers routinely make more money selling upgrades than the original program.

      • Why not treat automobiles, too – which remain in customer hands far longer than most products, long enough to become hopelessly obsolete without an upgrade path – as a revenue stream throughout their lifetime?

    • Using shut-down factories and laid-off workers to manufacture conversion kits that dealers can then earn income by installing

  • The California Air Resources Board is proving, with its pioneering new standards for certification of HEV-to-PHEV conversions, that vehicle conversions can be safe, low-emissions, and affordable.

  • The CEC can help provide the seed funds and paradigm legitimacy to create a new automotive business model, move small-scale ICE-to-PHEV innovators into volume production and partnership with auto manufacturers, and launch a new industry.

  • The start-up conversion businesses up next have each developed something of value, but have not yet found the funding for third-party validation and volume production.

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Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc.

  • Uniquely converting America’s most popular pickup truck, the Ford F-150, to a plug-in hybrid; more than 15 months of testing.

  • Up to 30 miles all-electric range; up to 40% MPG improvement as a hybrid (beyond all-electric range).

  • Up to 180,000 pounds of CO2 savings in 12 years; V2G capability; increased low-speed torque for better towing.


  • Seeking investment funding.

  • World’s First Plug-in Hybrid Electric Pickup Truck, Chicago IL

  • Founder: IIT Prof. Ali Emadi, leading power electronics expert.

  • 40 million trucks/buses in U.S; 2 million added annually.

  • F-150 prototype design scales to F-250, 350, school and transit buses.

  • Simple payback: 2-5 years.

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Rapid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc.

Vancouver British Columbia

  • Developing partnerships with Canadian dealers.

  • All-electric and PHEVs starting with Ford trucks and SUVs.

  • Contracts pending with public and private fleets.

  • Seeking investment funding.

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Efficient Drivetrains Inc.

San Francisco-

Sacramento region

  • CoFounder & CTO Prof. Andy Frank, UC Davis, inventor of modern PHEV.

  • Working with car/truck OEMs, conversions, first-tier suppliers to embed innovative drivetrain system designs, components -- parallel, series, and retrofit technologies.

  • Patent portfolio: hybrid fundamentals, continuously variable transmissions, energy management systems.

  • Projects in U.S., Europe, and Asia : two-wheeler, V2.0 parallel PHEV drivetrain for light and medium duty, inline CVT, CVT integration, and controllers.

  • 2008/2009 operations funded from customer revenues.

  • Seeking $2-3M in expansion funding now.

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Poulsen Hybrid, LLC Shelton, CT

$8,600 suggested retail price (before tax incentives) for complete Poulsen Hybrid System installed with 4.5 kWh Lithium-ion batteries, wheel motors and brackets.

  • Conversions for the most popular compact cars & SUVs.

  • 20-30 mile battery assisted range matches 70% of US daily commutes.

  • Mechanical connection to drivetrain is via 2 hub motors that replace hubcaps.

  • Business model scales to convert tens of thousands/year.

  • Creates green authorized installer jobs in communities everywhere.

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CalCars: a resource for a broad new campaign

  • Watch News-Archive & ICE-conversions Pages

  • Subscribe to CalCars-News

  • Print/distribute PDFs from Downloads Page

  • And thanks for all you’ve done—and will do!


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Get snapshots of issues & emerging companies

Follow our White Paper on ICE Conversions including news, photos; links to pioneering companies

Download eight-page White Paper with links to CalCars Tech Lead Ron Gremban’s spreadsheets and analyses

Watch our 1:45-minute video